The origin of the Acosta style can be
traced back to the middle of the year 1800, in the Esperanza, region of
Tenerife. It’s an evolution of a style of game stick from that area,
which had apparently disappeared. This evolution is due to the
emigration to Cuba of some ancient master of the family that adapted it
to the close combat to face up to some blades and knifes.
The style has remained until the present time but only in very close
familiar circle. The dynastic transmission of the style is quite
confusing, many investigators maintain the theory that the Acosta style
has influences from San Andres’s school, and they say that D.Polo Acosta
learnt with D. Francisco Morales who is one of the founders of this
school. It is known certainly that D.Polo Acosta crossed woods against
players of that school as he has verified in several interviews, but he
never admitted to have learned anything from them.
Other theories pointed to the fact that he learned from teachers like
Cho Fancisco Rigor or Domingo Lázaro. However D.Polo only
recognized to have learned in the first instance from D.Florentín Vera
from Barranco Hondo, and later he recognized in the figure of his cousin
Maximiliano as his best teacher.This way, the most convincing theory
affirms that Maximiliano learned frm his uncle who was in Cuba as well.
therefore, D.Sebastian Acosta Bacallado could be considered the
most ancient known master. However, who gave the character and
personality to this style were his nephews Maximiliano Hernández
Acosta y Leopoldo Acosta Acosta (D.Polo) without any doubt.
Los tres maestros, pilares de
their children, Ramón Hernandez Acosta(Maximiliano´s son) and Santos
Acosta Acosta, inherited their wisdom.The last of them as a result of a
tragic physical incapacity delegated it in his younger brother Anastasio
Acosta who unfortunately was affected in his motor capacity by a labor
accident years later.
illness of many of the members of the family and the death of
Maximiliano and D.Polo made to the Acosta family become worried phase as
the future of the style was in danger of becoming extinct.
junto a su tío Polo durante uno de sus entrenamientos.
Acosta junto a un grupo de estudiantes.
At the end of 1977, D.Marino Acosta(D.Polo´s nephew) helped by
his cousin D.Pedro Acosta(another D.Polo´s son) decided to begin
teaching to non-pertaining of the family groups students,
becoming the first teachers who opened the style outside of the
family core, it was a development that guaranteed the definitive
future and the perpetuity of this style.
schools have formed in several regions of Tenerife:Los Campitos
with D.Marino and D.Pedro as managers, and others like Valle de
Guerra, Las Mercedes, Arafo, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Puerto de
la Cruz, and the more recent incorporation of Cartagena directed
by D.Alfonso Acosta(his mother is from canary isles) who has
made an excellent job of inroducing this activity outside canary
If in the past
this style was on the verge of disappearing, nowadays it is safe
with D.Marino, his children and a group of students who
incessantly fight to transmit the style in its purer state.
The Acosta Style
is denominated by its ancient instructors as a short sticks
style differing from other styles from canary isles which are
called long sticks styles. The Acosta style has some unique
techniques are very different, as you hold the stick in the
middle, absence of “recogidos”(an ample circular technical of
defence), and big displacements of the guards what sometimes are
made from very low positions.The majority of the movements of
the game are in short distance(“Juego Corto”) ,the players are
bent over and his movements are made from a low positions.
It´s so common the “Atajado Pleno”(defences of blockade against
the opposite sticks)and the “Juego Cambiado” isn´t made.Another
remarkable characteristics are the constant changing of hands
that are made to create confusion in your opponent or to pass
the stick from a guard to another one through a down motion.
These changes contribute a greater harmony, mobility and scene
for the game.It is a style of old connotations, a short game of
robust character that combines the movements of the stick with
the use of the hand, a technique that very few styles make.It
consists in controlling the stick of your opponent with yours,
separating it and with the free hand send a hit with the palm of
the hand to the face or ears of the other player.
Maestros Santos y
Anastasio Acosta jugando sueltos.